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Full text of "NightRider"

67

about it, because, he said, he never was a man to open his
mouth about something he couldn't back up. It was a gross
of knives, bought from the Dewey Jobbing Company in
Nashville, and the stock number of the knives was M-i20073.
This was how he remembered it so good. The defendant
had asked to look at some butcher knives, but he said he
didn't like any of the knives he saw and did Mr. Little have
any other kind. The defendant said he didn't want any of
those tin knives, which, Mr. Little said, was just a way of
talking because all the knives were good grade and most
were A-number-i grade steel. They were all good merchan-
dise. What the defendant said he wanted was a good heavy
knife without too long a blade nor too curved, something
his wife could use round the kitchen and he could use when
hog-killing time came in.

When Mr. Little said "hog-killing time," somebody
snickered in the courtroom and the judge rapped with his
gavel. " When hog-killing time came in," Mr. Little repeated
with an air of impersonal dignity, and proceeded. The new
knives would be just what the defendant wanted, he had
told the defendant. Then he went back and opened up the
new box and got one out. It would do all right, the defen-
dant said. He took it and paid for it and said, "Much
obliged," and went on out.

" Could you identify the type of knife which you sold to
the defendant?" the prosecuting attorney asked Mr. Little.

Mr. Little said that he would be able to do so. The blade
was shorter than ordinary, he said, and a little thicker on
the blunt edge, and the brass brads in the handle weren't
round, they were square, and they weren't set in a straight
line. And the trade-mark was on the blade up near the
handle. It read " Maiden Steel."

The prosecuting attorney unwrapped a newspaper-covered
parcel and held up a knife. "Was it a knife tike this?" he
demanded.

'Mr. Little examined the knife, and said that it was the
same kind.